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Israeli army simulates full-scale war with Hezbollah amid Hamas battle

Israeli soldiers in a military drill near the Lebanese border (Photo: IDF)

Israeli paratroopers and combat engineering troops over the weekend simulated a full-scale war on the northern border with Lebanon-based Hezbollah forces , while continuing the war against Hamas in Gaza.

The deputy commander of the IDF’s 226th Brigade emphasized that the military was ready for all-out war with the Iranian-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, despite harsh winter conditions in the north.

“Despite the winter weather, the rain, the mud, and the fog, and after 113 days of defending the northern border, this week we carried out a series of difficult and complex exercises to strengthen the Brigade’s readiness,” the deputy commander said.

“The spirit of the commanders and soldiers is strong, professionalism is at a very high level and the troops are ready for anything. After this week, I can wholeheartedly say – we are ready.”

While there is currently no full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel, the powerful Iranian proxy has repeatedly fired rockets and sent drones into northern Israel.

On Jan. 14, the 100th day of the war with Hamas, an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit a home and killed two Israeli civilians. Almost daily since the deadly Hamas invasion on Oct. 7, the Israeli military has responded to hostile fire along the northern border, and also to infiltration attempts.

Following the Oct. 7 massacres, Israel authorities decided to evacuate around 100,000 Israeli civilians living close to the Lebanese border, due to concerns that Hezbollah would attempt a similar invasion from the north. Many local Israeli residents refuse to return to their homes before the Hezbollah threat is neutralized.

Amit Super, head of the Merom HaGalil Regional Council, urged the Israeli government to restore security for the Israeli citizens in the north.

“We demand that the government restores security to the north. We have time, we have patience, but we do not have the ability to return to the days in October when Hezbollah's Redwan Force was sitting a few meters from us. We will give the government all the support it will need to remove the threat on the northern border,” Super added, in reference to Hezbollah’s elite commando unit, which has been trained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

In December, researchers from the Israeli security think tank, ‘Alma,’ warned that Hezbollah’s Radwan Force was ready to implement a potential order to invade northern Israel.

“The Radwan unit is fully trained and capable of launching an incursion into the Galilee at any given moment,” Alma security experts warned.

“Even if the majority of Hezbollah’s elite forces have distanced themselves from the border, there is no change to Hezbollah’s overall readiness,” they assessed.

On Sunday, the Israeli Air Force struck two Hezbollah targets in the so-far lower-intensity war of attrition on the northern border. The U.S. Biden administration has worked hard to prevent a full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel.

Established in the early 1980s by Iranian-backed Shiites in Lebanon, today Hezbollah is widely considered one of the world’s most powerful non-state actors with military capabilities that match, and even surpass, those of many countries around the world.

Like its ally Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has reportedly built a vast underground tunnel network that extends across much of southern Lebanon.

Since the Second Lebanon War between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, the Iranian-supported terror militia has acquired an large arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets that can reach any point inside of Israel.

In the event of a potential full-scale war, the Israeli military would likely devote considerable resources into neutralizing as much rocket offensive capability as possible.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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